>> Quán Mii Restaurant | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 23 June 2023

Quán Mii Restaurant

Restaurant facade

📍 16031 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley, Orange County
🅿️ Ample parking in plaza
🥤 No Alcohol

To pronounce the word xèo in Vietnamese, try to get as close to you can to the sound the rice flour batter makes as it hits a hot pan, for this is the origin of the word. If you sit far enough back towards the kitchen inside of Quán Mii you might hear this yourself, but the restaurant is constantly doing brisk business and is full of conversations so do not expect to be reminded of this sensual pleasure you may know from street vendors in Vietnam.

The origin of bánh xèo is on the street, it is a working class food that could always be found quick and cheap. Like anything delicious, rich people eventually found out and restaurants started preparing the dish for them. In Vietnam, the experience of a street stall is still hard to beat, but in Orange County you usually need to find a table indoors.

Bánh xèo đặc biệt

Quán Mii specializes in the "smaller" version and style found along the central coast rather than the larger ones around the Mekong Delta and now in Cambodia. There are many even more local variations within these groups which do not all make it to Southern California, but it is a privilege to have such a good purveyor of the specialty. This location on Brookhurst in Fountain Valley is the second of the franchise, the original is located on Bolsa in Westminster.

The folded rice flour wrap is nicely crispy and heavy with the sweetness of coconut milk. The bánh xèo đặc biệt ($17.95, above and below) has a bounty of bean sprouts inside as well as shrimp, squid, and ground pork, a symphony of flavors even before you start adding lettuces and fresh herbs to each bite. A rice paper wrapper holder with warm water is brought to each table after you order, and the combinations for DIY wraps are almost limitless.

A section of bánh xèo đặc biệt

Bánh bèo "Huế"

Bánh bèo "Huế"

The other central Vietnamese specialty that is hard to pass up at Quán Mii is a tray of bánh bèo "Huế" ($10.95, above), which come out in a tray of nine rice flour cakes topped with shredded shrimp. A piece of crispy fried pork and chopped scallions join the shrimp, but be sure to add a spoonful of their spiked nước chấm before eating each in one bite.

Also from Huế, try the mắm tôm chua "Huế" ($7.95 small order, below), a fresh and spicy fermented fish dish that is sometimes used as a condiment. Before fermentation, the shrimp have been marinated in rice wine, then combined with chili, galangal, and garlic. The sour final product is the perfect accompaniment for savory and sweet dishes.

Mắm tôm chua "Huế"


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